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Carbon mitigation policies, distributional dilemmas and social policies

Gough, Ian (2013) Carbon mitigation policies, distributional dilemmas and social policies. Journal of Social Policy, 42 (2). pp. 191-213. ISSN 0047-2794

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S0047279412001018


Contemporary policies to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) will have distributive consequences and thus implications for the scope and remit of social policy. This paper studies current carbon mitigation policies and their distributive impacts. It considers a range of current and proposed social programmes to ameliorate these impacts, before proposing alternatives.This argument ispursuedintwoparts according towhether emissions are conceived and accounted within a production or a consumption framework. The first part works within the Kyoto policy framework, critiques the present suite of policies and suggests alternative policy scenarios thatmay bettermarry together the goals of carbon reduction and social equity. The second half justifies and operationalises a broader focus on all GHGs emitted by British consumers,whether directly or embodied in goods and services. It argues that to target these will require going beyond the current policy paradigm to develop more radical policies to modify preferences and behaviour, and to constrain total consumption demand. It then speculates on ways that new social policy programmes might combine the pursuit of these goals together with social equity.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 Cambridge University Press
Divisions: Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2013 11:55
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:02

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